SILIGURI, India, July 13, Reuter: The Chief Minister of India’s West Bengal State on Wednesday called on the Gurkha leader with whom he is trying to negotiate an end to a two year separatist campaign to publicly disown continuing violence.

Sporadic violence in the lush Darjeeling hills of northwest India is continuing despite an announcement by Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader Subhas Ghising suspending a campaign for a separate Gurkha State.

 “Ghising must end violence and publically disown it”, Communist West Bengal leader Jyoti Basu told reporters in Siliguri, in the Darjeeling foothills,

“He must disown the people responsible for this”, he said. Hope for an end to the bloody agitation rose sharply last Sunday when Ghising persuaded the GNLF leadership to give him the power to negotiate an autonomous hill council for the Nepali speaking Gurkhas, a compromise short of their own state.

But the new violence, adding to. The 350 deaths and severe damage to the tea and tourism based Darjeeling economy during the campaign, has raised doubts about whether Ghising can control the hardliners.

Police said several militant factions were not happy with Ghising’s conduct of the negotiations. With Basu, which are due to reconvene in New Delhi soon?

“We will have to wait and see, they might just decide to defy Ghising,” a senior policeman said.

Article extracted from this publication >> July 22, 1988